Owning a pet comes with so much joy and love, but there are also aspects to pet ownership that can be stressful and overwhelming. Veterinarian visits, vaccinations, daycare, food, grooming: the list goes on and on for expenses that come with taking care of a pet. Of course, we wouldn’t trade them for the world, so it’s important to implement strategies for taking the stress out of it!
Take preventative measures
Pet expenses tend to bring about the most stress when they come as a surprise. While accidents can’t always be predicted, there are many preventative measures that can be put in place to help you avoid emergency expenses. Here are a few tips to implement:
Pet proof your home
If your pet spends the majority of their time at home, it may be beneficial to do some minor pet proofing in hopes of preventing any mishaps. Make sure all chemicals or cleaning supplies are put away in a cabinet or on a high surface so your pet can’t reach it. The same goes for food— do your best to keep it away in a cupboard, or put a gate in front of the pantry. For example, there are many human consumed ingredients that can be detrimental to a dog’s health, so it’s imperative to know what foods are dangerous. Similarly, ensure that all human medication is locked away. While it might seem as though these methods of pet proofing are unnecessary, you never know what your pet can get into while you’re not home! Doing so could save you an expensive emergency visit to the vet.
Schedule annual exams
Just as yearly exams are essential for humans, the same can be said for pets. Think of it this way: your pet can’t tell you with words how they’re feeling or if they’re in pain. The best way to prevent a health scare with your furry friend is to schedule an annual check up exam to make sure everything is in good shape. Annual pet exams are important for a number of reasons, but primarily to ensure your pet is happy and healthy. If there happens to be an issue, it’s better to know about it ahead of time as opposed to letting it worsen, potentially costing you a fortune down the road.
Bring your pet along when travelling
Another way to combat the stress that coincides with pet expenses is to bring your pet along with you when travelling. This might not always be possible depending on where you’re going, but in most places you can search for pet-friendly accommodations. The cost of boarding your pet or paying someone to make sure they’re taken care of while you’re away can add up fast. A great way to cut costs and reduce stress is to simply bring them along with you. It might be a few extra stops in the car, or more of a hassle to bring them on a plane, but ultimately will save you money in the long run.
Have a financial back up plan
As much as you try to plan for unexpected pet expenses or prevent them from occurring in the first place, there is only so much you can do. Accidents and emergencies are unfortunately bound to happen, so it’s important to be prepared for them when they do. Know that there are countless financial options available should you need it. Purchasing pet insurance can give you peace of mind and provides an easy way to budget pet care costs. However, that can sometimes come with a hefty monthly payment and may not cover the entirety of the vet bills and associated expenses. Another option to consider is utilizing a personal line of credit to handle emergency pet expenses. These can come at any time, possibly in the middle of home repairs or while you’re refinancing student loans. With a personal line of credit you have access to an available balance of funds, which can be beneficial to have should you find yourself in a position of several financial burdens all at once. Lastly, consider creating an emergency fund of cash solely for the purpose of pet emergencies. Knowing this is an option can alleviate a lot of stress related to pet expenses.
There is no doubt that dealing with costs and expenses associated with our beloved pets can be stressful, but with a little bit of preventative care and preparation, you can minimize that stress in no time!